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Presbyterian missionaries are teachers, church planters, doctors, public health specialists, chaplains and human rights advocates. They teach theology, church history, Greek, Hebrew and English. They preach and evangelize. They organize and host mission teams from the United States. They accompany, they listen, they work in partnership with the Body of Christ in 71 countries. Find a mission worker now.
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A letter from Justin and Renee Sundberg in Nicaragua
Summer 2014 - Our First week in Nicaragua
On our first full day in Managua, June 23, the rain greeted us with a mysterious pounding calm and refreshment, in a way we had never experienced in Seattle. It seemed to simultaneously cleanse our souls a little from the frantic scramble to pack up our home and has served as a bridge to familiar memories associated with our soggy native soil. After the downpour the sodden earth smelled fresh and renewed with possibility—reminding us of how God’s steadfast love is dynamic and mercy is renewing us as we finally make our much anticipated arrival in Nicaragua.
For the people of Nicaragua, the fits and starts to the arrival of the rainy season have been an experience where hope lifts one day, then lilts the next. The delay of the rains this year has caused the death of livestock and great concern over the vitality of crops—both of which are of paramount importance. So as you think of us and continue to pray for Nicaragua, pray for all who labor here to work toward sustainable solutions for year-round access to potable drinking water, for sufficient water for irrigation and animals, and for government and non-government agencies as they also work together to address these challenges.Continue reading
A letter from Ruth Brown in Congo
Summer 2014 - Hope for Street Children
Muoyo webe! (Life to you!)
From many of you I hear news of your plans to visit with family over these summer months. I, too, will be visiting this summer with a very special family: 23 street children who have joined the family of the Presbyterian Church of Congo (CPC), specifically, the Presbyteries of Kananga and Tshibashi.
These presbyteries have agreed to support these children and the families who will be accepting them back or welcoming them as new children. Church support to street children has been a dream of the Rev. Andre Manyayi, pastor of Oasis Butoke Presbyterian Church in Kananga, since his seminary days at Shepherd-Lapsley Institute. Pastor Manyayi’s dissertation asserted that Christ mandates the Church’s role as caregiver for street children. After seminary Pastor Manyayi presented his dissertation to his local presbytery, and in early 2013 he approached the CPC’s Community Development Program, asking for help with finding funding for a church-based program to assist street children to resettle with family members. Pastor Manyayi’s final proposal for this program, “Ditekemena” (“Hope”), was granted funding by the PC(USA) Presbyterian Women’s Thank Offering in the fall of 2013.Continue reading
A letter from Dan and ElizabethTurk in Madagascar
June 2014 - Transitions
Greetings from chilly Madagascar!
Our year of transition progresses. Robert graduated from the American School of Antananarivo on June 6. On June 14 we had a small ceremony with Malagasy friends and colleagues to mark the end of Robert’s childhood in Madagascar. It was wonderful to have those who have had a part of his life since he was 1½ be there to pray for him and send him off.
Robert will be attending Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., this August. We will be in the States briefly this summer to get him established. Because of time constraints, we will only be able to visit a few churches this summer. However, we will be on Interpretation Assignment starting in July 2015 and look forward to meeting with many of you then.
We are also transitioning in work as well. In this newsletter we would like to share with you some new work that is starting.Continue reading
A letter from Kay Day in Rwanda
Dear Friends and Family,
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20 NKJV).
Anyone who knows me as a worship leader knows that is my favorite blessing. I close many of the worship services I lead with this blessing. I believe it and I have witnessed it this past month in a number of powerful ways.
The small congregation I serve is comprised mainly of students of PIASS. They are the elders and deacons as well as the members. The elders’ council planned a farewell for the graduating students but needed to raise the funds to hold the function. Their budget was ambitious and, honestly, I had doubts as to the ability to raise the funds from the students’ meager resources. I underwrote a large portion as part of my personal giving, but there was still a sum to raise. We decided to hold a fund-raiser after church. One of my colleagues agreed to be the auctioneer. Items were donated for sale. On the day of the fund-raiser, two folks attended worship who are not members. They fully joined in the fun of the auction, along with the students. The bids rose 1,000 RFs (about $1.30) at a time on candy, homemade cookies, a necklace, rice, a pumpkin. There was laughter and competition.Continue reading
A letter from Tim Carriker in Brazil
july 2014 - Environmental Responsibility
There I was in the small village of São Mamede, in the interior of Northeast Brazil, some 1,800 miles north of our home. There the climate is always warm and the region characterized by long periods of draught. I had been asked to speak for a few days to a group of pastors and missionaries of a regional denomination I did not previously know. The topic was Biblical foundations for what we have come to call “creation care,” basically Christian social environmental responsibility. The invitation came from a Christian environmental non-governmental organization called A Rocha (“the rock” in Portuguese), which I have served as a voluntary chaplain for about seven years. The reception was warm and the audience open and responsive. I probably learned more from them than they did from me. They were already integrating church planting in dire rural circumstances with environmentally responsible small-farming techniques and water gathering as concrete examples of a holistic approach to living out the gospel. You may wonder what all this has to do with our partnership with the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil and how that fits in with the PC(USA)’s own sense of global mission. I’ll try to explain…Continue reading
A letter from Kurt Esslinger in South Korea
June 2014 - A New Role
A thunderstorm crashes and bangs over the city of Seoul as I write this Mission Connections letter to you all. While I generally enjoy rain and I enjoy watching the lightning out of my office window, I do not look forward to walking home at the end of the day in this deluge. Yes, I am currently working in the big city of Seoul at the moment. This is part of a new development for me, and I will share more about that below. Though the storm rages outside my window, new doors of hope are opening up in ministry and cooperation.
First we have some general updates. Our current YAVs have only one more month left in their year with us in Daejeon. They, of course, have no idea the degree to which this year has affected them, and they will have a hard time communicating this to their family and friends when they return. We will take them on a final retreat next week to Seorak Mountain to begin processing their YAV experience. We also finalized the selection of YAVs who will join us for the next year, arriving at the end of August. Kalyn Stevwing and Jordan Bailey will come to live and volunteer in Daejeon, learning Korean language for the first time, and diving into a year of Korean faith, culture, and history. Pray for them as they prepare for a year that will change their lives forever.Continue reading
A letter from Tracey King-Ortega in Nicaragua
July 2014 - Being Present
The other day our nanny took our three children for a walk around the neighborhood. It is not unusual to draw quite a bit of attention when you are out and about with twins and an adorable 3-year-old. But on this outing they drew the kind of attention that led me to feel uncomfortable. Doña Emelina came back with a surprise. In the twins’ laps, as well as the other parts of the stroller, were packages of powdered milk. She said that there were a bunch of gringos walking around the neighborhood giving this stuff out. They seemed extra excited to meet my twins and told her to be sure to have their mom drink this milk because she needs the nourishment. We laughed about it and I asked her if they took pictures of the babies with the milk packets, and not surprisingly, they did. All of this left me feeling kind of yucky. Why did this group of strangers make these assumptions of poverty and need about my children? Is it just because they are Nicaraguan, so they must be poor? What would they have done if I were the one taking them on the walk, a fellow “gringo”? Would they still have loaded us down with packets of milk?Continue reading
A letter from Katie Griffin in Argentina
June 27, 2014
O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
Life and ministry have taken a different turn in the past few months. I put myself in solitary confinement, away from colleagues, students, and even home and family, in order to get my doctoral thesis into form. No one can write a doctoral thesis in five weeks, but after two years of thinking, without having enough time to sit down and write, five weeks at 14 hours a day helped me to take a huge step forward. So now I am about three-fourths of the way through and feeling like it will be possible.Continue reading
A letter from Kate Taber in Israel-Palestine
Greetings friends and family,
I write during what is the most difficult period I have ever experienced in Israel and Palestine. At this moment riots and clashes are happening in various places in Jerusalem, some near to my home, in the wake of all that has happened the past few weeks. On June 12 three Israeli teens were kidnapped as they were hitchhiking from their yeshiva (religious school) in a West Bank settlement. Following the kidnapping, Israel launched a major military operation dubbed “Operation Brother’s Keeper,” a security sweep and closure of the West Bank. It has been the largest such military operation in seven years. The operation searched for the kidnapped teenagers in the Hebron area, but the invasion went far beyond what was necessary for the search. It seemed Israel was taking advantage of the situation to purge the West Bank of anyone or any institution that had any ties at all to Hamas.Continue reading
Thank You and Your Family for serving God by taking His word so far from Your Home.
God is doing his work and using us a tools in other nations.during my working here in Athens i observed that there are many oppertunities to share the Gospel massage with other those do not know Jesus and we can bring them to Jesus Christ.Please prayer for me that i'm a very littel to that God is using me here in Athens Greece. God bless you.